The relationship between Delhi-based artist Neeraj Goswami and portraits has come a long way. The journey began during his college days, when he earned praise for his copy of Rembrandt’s self portrait, once his muse. Lately, his portrait of the 10th President of India, K R Narayanan hangs inside the Rajya Sabha, while the Lok Sabha houses his portrait of former speaker Balram Jakhar. A far cry from these commissioned works, his abstract portrait of a perplexed human head surrounded by hues of green, which serve as a doorway to his moods and emotions, is now going to be showcased at Gallerie Ganesha’s group show “Identity Proclaimed: Exploring the Persona”, which begins on March 12.
The 50-year-old artist says, “Unlike academic and commissioned portraits, that follow characterisation of people, here I have gone beyond facial expression and have looked at self expression in terms of line, form and colours.”
Drawing on similar lines, senior artist Manu Parekh has drawn an old wrinkled face with curly frizzled hair. His stint in Gujarati theatre, during his college days, taught the artist that the “head” is the most powerful medium of expressing emotions. Parekh says, “The face is such an important feature, that is very receptive and reactive. I don’t paint heads, I paint expressions.”
Shobha Bhatia, Director of Gallerie Ganesha, says, “This exhibition is a tribute to the artist who creates identities at will in his paintings using his creative expression.” The show will bring together 14 artists such as Akbar Padamsee, Ganesh Pyne, Jogen Choudhary, Parekh, Paresh Maity and Samindranath Majumdar, among others.
Kolkata-based Majumdar calls his portraits “faces” and recalls a remarkable and outstanding portrait of Bengali writer Samaresh Basu, done by artist Bikash Bhattacharjee, known for depicting the life of middle-class Bengalis. “Basu led a Bohemian life, drank too much, came from an impoverished family, but still rose to the top. The portrait was screaming with hues of reds and pinks, almost as if it was throbbing with blood and pain, and the many emotions that Basu had gone through,” says Majumdar.
The exhibition will be at Gallerie Ganesha, E-557, Greater Kailash II, from March 12 to April 15.